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Amazing "Flying Dragons" Japanese Silver Box - Awarded for the 1906 China Griffins 3/4 Mile

Amazing "Flying Dragons" Japanese Silver Box - Awarded for the 1906 China Griffins 3/4 Mile

<p>This piece and its mate, a large silver trophy also in this auction, represents a quality we have never seen before. Both are true antiques whose value exceeds that of the sports element, something you simply do not see; they are held exclusively in the finest collections and museums. This sterling silver cigar box was presented to J.C. Fletcher. It is ensconced by a series of brilliantly detailed, figural flying dragons on all sides. They practically come alive! Beautifully hand-crafted in the highest grade .950 silver, experts have called it one of the finest examples of Japanese silver work they have ever seen. From the Meiji Period, it is completely hand-made and double-walled throughout, signed by important Japanese silversmith "Musashiya" of Yokohama, Japan. Musashiya is world-renowned for making some of the most incredible pieces of silver work of the period, most having amazing figural dragon designs such as this one. Commissioned by the legendary firm of Arthur &amp; Bond, he produced some of their finest works. In excellent condition, it measures a quite large 8.5x6x4.5" tall. Made of the finest thick gauge sterling silver it weighs a hefty 1,298 grams. The box was presented to early horse racing magnate J.C. Fletcher for winning the "China Griffins 3/4 Mile" in Yokohama, Japan. China "Griffins" is a reference to the mythical creature with the body of a lion and the wings of an eagle. It is only appropriate that Fletcher received a box dedicated to another mythical creature, the dragon. Opens to reveal lyrical engraving; "Nippon Race Club &ndash; Yokohama Spring Meeting 1906 - China Griffins 3/4 Mile - Won by 'Canuck' (Mr. Fletcher)." The winning horse&rsquo;s name ("Canuck") was a play on his Canadian heritage. Provenance: Fletcher was an important man in horse racing's early days. Shown here is an actual image of the box on display in Fletcher&rsquo;s trophy room. He shipped his horses all over the world (Japan, United States, Australia). The box was sold into the esteemed "Haas Collection" of Montreal. Supreme 1950s-1980s Japanese art collectors, Mr. and Mrs. Haas bought only the best. Their world-famous collection is immortalized in Louis Lawrence&rsquo;s, "Satsuma Masterpieces From The World&rsquo;s Important Collections" (1992). IMPORTANT NOTE: An identical box with NO horse racing inscription, sold at Sotheby's in 2014 for $15,000 plus commissions, showing the value simply as a work of art.</p><p><span style="font-size: 13px;"><strong>Addendum: An image has been posted of the ornate box in Mr. Fletcher's personal collection&nbsp;</strong></span></p>

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